This Halloween, the world will reach a somewhat frightening landmark: a population of seven billion people. As the world’s population continues to balloon, it becomes increasingly difficult to divvy up access to resources. It’s a problem that creates an atmosphere ripe for conflict and disaster. The United Nations Population Fund and SAP have teamed up to create an interactive dashboard that makes it easier for NGO’s, governments, and economists to make funding and resource decisions–and the incredibly detailed widget is open to the public.
The Snapshot section of the dashboard provides a broad overview of our population situation, with current statistics and future projections of births, deaths, amount of seniors and young people, and growth in each region and country around the world.
But the Trends piece of the dashboard is where it really gets interesting. The section provides all sorts of statistics for countries around the world–as well as the ability to compare them. For example, searching for “Primary Education Enrollment vs. GDP” in Algeria tells us that the country has a higher education rate and GDP than most African countries in 1990, but fast-forwarding through the years tells us that that quickly changes.
The “Trends” dashboard also provides fast facts about different countries. Clicking on Italy, for example we learn that 16.15% of people with a secondary education or higher are unemployed. In the U.S. 5.95% of people with that level of education lack employment
These dashboards are more than just diversions; until recently, the information that they display was only available in scattered spreadsheets throughout governments, schools, and agencies. Now that it’s centralized and easy to visualize, policy wonks can really get to work on grappling with a rapidly-growing population.